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crash2199, Customer Service
Category: Phone Systems
Satisfied Customers: 18968
Experience:  5+ years experience
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I found an old Samsung SCH-110 Illusion. It is working but

Customer Question

I found an old Samsung SCH-110 Illusion. It is working but has no service (no sim card?) (old phone # / phone service long ago cancelled.) The WiFi does work and I can browse the web on this old Android phone. My question is: where are my SMS txt message stored and can I save them off of the phone's drive? It looks like in the Messages app that the messages I wrote are there but the message I received are gone. Are they somewhere in my phone's filesystem where I can retrieve them? I have heard of this before and am worried the messages are stored on the phone company's servers which would be bad because my account closed years ago (Verizon). Any ideas how I should poke around the file system to try to find where messages are stored? Thanks.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Phone Systems
Expert:  crash2199 replied 9 months ago.


There are programs that claim to recover deleted messages but I have not seen one that has worked before. Once, the emails are missing or deleted, they cannot be recovered. In regards ***** ***** statement about the message being on the company server, it is possible that they are on the server but it would require a subpoena to have them released to you.

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Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hi- I am sorry. I think I was not clear. I apologize. My question is about finding old SMS messages on this old phone (which seems to work but has no SIM chip, or no service because the # was long-ago cancelled.) I did not delete the SMS messages. Suppose you and I, four years ago, sent each other a lot of messages. There might be 100 messages, about half FROM YOU TO ME and about half FROM ME TO YOU. If, four years ago, I just put the phone in a drawer and last week picked it up... I can't seem to find those messages. It looks like the ones FROM YOU TO ME are all missing, but I did not delete them. I see mostly (entirely) message FROM ME TO YOU. Again, I didn't delete messages. I just put the phone down for four years. I am wondering if they are on the phone's disk drive somewhere: if I mount the drive via USB and look at the files in the file system... where would the SMS messages be? Would the be readable through any normal software on a laptop USB connected to the phone in data mode? I recall a rumor that the messages FROM YOU TO ME (the missing ones) are generally stored at the phone company and not long-term stored on the recipient's phone. This sounds odd but it matches what I see: no more messages FROM YOU TO ME if the phone cannot now connect to the company's servers because the plan was cancelled years ago. Where would SMS messages be stored on the phone?
Expert:  crash2199 replied 9 months ago.

Sorry for any confusion -- When I said "Deleted", the same goes for "missing" text messages as well. There isn't a location to look on the phone other than in the messages section.